By Monday Ogar: House of Assembly Correspondent
A Non-governmental Organization, Universal Peace Federation (UPF) has called on the Cross River State Government through the State House of Assembly to come up with legislation and policy framework that will engender peace and harmonious living between the different religious and cultural groups in the state.
The organization which was in the State for their Maiden Interfaith Peace Pilgrimage made this known when they paid a courtesy call to the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly Hon. John Lebo where the Executive Secretary of the organization, Raphael Oko said the main focus of the group is to promote interfaith collaboration and reduce acrimony within the various religious and ethnic divides.
Furthermore, Oko added that “As a group, the organization has also as one of its core mandate, the promotion of inter-tribal marriages and by doing this, the family can be a place where others can easily learn about other cultures hitherto seen as strange”.
Responding, Lebo said that the organization was “pursuing a noble cause”, pointing out that; “It is impossible for any society to grow without peace”.
He also said that apart from the “security challenge that plagued the state recently, the state has always been known for its peacefulness, as both the Muslim and Christian communities live in harmony”.
On a rather private note, the Abi born politician told the inter-faith based organization that he is married to a Kano State indigene and sees no reason why people should “hate each other based on religion”, adding that; “As a Government, the assembly is on the verge of passing a bill that will transform the Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee into an Agency”.
The visit climaxed with the presentation of a Peace Ambassador Award to the speaker and later visited the headquarters of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star as well as the Calabar Central Mosque in Bogobiri where they met with the Calabar Muslim community.
Earlier, the group visited the leadership of the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) with CrossRiverWatch gathering that each participant was presented with a certificate and a medal as an Interfaith Peace Pilgrim (IPP) medal.
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